Issue 6 October 2013
In This Issue: Dirt Composting ……..………….……………...3-4 Composting at home………….……..……......4 The Perfect Plant…............................................5-6 Garden Insects……............................................7-8 Soil Saving Tips………….………………..…...8 Opportunities...……..............................................9 2013 Pawpaw Festival........... ........................11-12 Trash Talk: landfills ...……………………13-14
E-waste Recycling….……………....................16 Local Attractions………………………...17-18 Chesterhill Produce Auction …………….…17
Markie Millier, EcoHouse community garden manager, describes an unusual encounter in the garden early this semester (7).
Pumpkin Picking……………………………..18 Whites Mill……………………………….….18 Cold Weather Gardening.............................19-20 Sustainability Update……………….…...........21 Expressions……..……..................................23-24
On The Cover What is dirt? Where is dirt? Routes Staff discovers dirt all around campus . Photographer: Tess Phinney
From the Director Growing up, I spent a lot of time around campfires. So, naturally, silly songs were always sung by firelight to keep us entertained. I learned my love for the environment through those songs. They were an artistic portal to a world of science; a world that I had thought was unavailable to me. Those silly songs are what eventually brought me to Athens, Ohio and are the inspiration behind why I stay committed to a career in sustainability. So, as far as I’m concerned, high tech video games, gadgets and computers still pale in comparison to a good ol’ fashioned song about nature. One such song that I sing to myself almost daily is a fairly well-known little ditty by the Banana Slug String Band about soil and all that it offers us. You probably know it…”Dirt made my lunch, oh baby, dirt made my lunch…thank you dirt, thanks a bunch…” The song is actually pretty well crafted; it teaches us to dig a little deeper into our exploration of our food’s origins, the creatures behind that food and all that we gain from a nutrient rich soil. It’s an excellent way to encourage young people to think critically.
Routes Magazine Editor Tess Phinney / Outreach Coordinator
Contributors Hallie Zarbakhsh / Writer Bradford Grant / Writer Alex Slaymaker /Writer Liz Emley / Writer Markie Miller / Writer Leigh Wagner / Writer Megan Graver / Writer Catherine Weisbarth / Writer and Photographer
Director Annie Laurie Cadmus / Writer and Photographer
Original Layout Created by: Neal Patten
This issue of Routes proudly features “dirt” as its theme. Ok, those of us working on this issue know the proper term for what we’re singing about is actually “soil.” But, let’s face it, “dirt” is somehow a more enticing word…we like how saying it makes us scrunch our faces a little and how just one simple syllable makes us each think of a thousand different images that quickly flash in front of us as we pause for the next word. So bear with us for the next twenty or so pages as we celebrate the magic (science) that happens under our feet…we’ll be using the word “dirt” often (and incorrectly). I often matter-of-factly tell people that I have the best job on campus. And, while I could give a thousand reasons why that is true, it all boils down to one single thing: dirt (soil). More often than most, I get to interact with people who walk into my office with sun splashed cheeks and some dirt under their nails. I’ve noticed that these people are happy; they breathe life into everything they do and can captivate my attention. They motivate me to schedule time into every week where I, too, get to dig my hands deep into the soil so I can both care for it and thank it. Thank it “…for my salad, my sandwich, my milk, and my munch…”
Annie Laurie Cadmus Director of Sustainability, Ohio University
Keep In Touch:
form textured topsoil can reach as deep as 6 feet or more. In this area, as compared to the Palouse, our topsoil generally reaches only inches deep and is not always suited for Before the start of this school year I moved from the Washington and Northern Idaho area (an area called The such intensive forms of agricultural farming. So, the question you may now be asking is - what does this all mean Palouse) where soil loss and its effects on the area were among the largest concerns within media and the minds of for us in Athens, Ohio? Well, this is the thing that I have the people who lived there. Every year, about this time of observed. With less topsoil and area for intensive agriculyear, the Pacific winds mixed with no rain, dry farmlands, tural farming, we have less people growing foods, which means that our food isn’t nearly as, how do I say this… dirt and the vigorous crop harvest meant the start of dust storms. On the windiest days you could taste the soil in the cheap! air and you couldn’t see a distance much longer than the distance of Court Street in Athens Ohio. Then the next Did you know that Ohio University already processmonth, the rain would show up and wash out all the loose es nearly 100% of the campus’ food waste to make dirt. Such scenarios cause massive amounts of erosion. its own soil amendment? We can currently divert Despite the dust storms and erosion in this area, it has up to 6 tons of food waste from the landfill every some of the deepest and richest fine grain water retaining day and turn it into nutrient rich compost. Check topsoil suitable for growing agricultural crops. In southout what the compost at OHIO looks like when it is eastern Ohio, as compared to the Palouse, we don’t do almost ready to be re-introduced to the soil in orsuch intensive levels of agricultural farming and so we have more room for trees (as well as other layers of bioder to create nutrient rich topsoil. mass), which protect topsoil from the massive levels of erosion that plague the Palouse.
Why should I Compost?
Have you ever considered making your own topsoil? - The cost of food in the Athens area has recently led me on a quest toward finding ways to make rich topsoil for my own food production. Essentially you can easily do this at home by combining the top layer of dirt with a layer of compost. Compost is a nutrient rich organic matter filled with microorganisms that breaks down organic matter. It’s created by the combination of food waste mixed with bulking materials like wood chips, saw dust, or shredded newspaper. People, in places like the Palouse, use compost as a way to improve soil structure and thus protects from erosion factors like wind and water. However, people in this area also use compost as a method for diverting waste to the landTopsoil is the top layer of soil that has the highest concen- fill, for creating topsoil better for food production, and to be used in landscaping for healthier plants and soils. trations of organic matter and microorganisms. It is the layer of soil where most plants set their roots and draw the majority of their nutrients from. In the Palouse, uni-
What is topsoil?
In order to cut down on food costs, I use compost to create the best topsoil possible in order to have the most delicious home grown produce possible. Establishing a compost pile this time of year can lead to nutrient rich topsoil for next year’s planting season. This in turn will allow me to grow delicious and healthy foods!
a composting system at your own house or apartment. In fact, the process is easy, enjoyable, and offers a clean solution to the smelly decomposing food waste you might have in your garbage can right now. Take a look at the home composting system that Tess Phinney, our wonderful editor-inchief at Routes, uses…
Haven’t composted before? Don’t worry; there is no need to feel uncomfortable with the idea of starting
Composting at Home
http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/156085/ \ http://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/0790b/report.pdf http://www.ids-environment.com/Common/Paper/Paper_83/Soil% 20Erosion.pdf
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Before I moved into the Ohio Ecohouse I had never composted before in my life. To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the whole process, but I quickly caught on and discovered that composting is much easier than I expected. There are many different ways to compost and the process that we use at the Ecohouse is just one of those ways. We start out in the kitchen. Whenever we have food scraps like pieces of vegetables, scraps of bread, even used coffee filters, we put them in a small silver container on the kitchen counter (right). To prevent stinky smells and bugs, we avoid putting meat and dairy products in our compost pail.
About once a day, or when it gets full, we take that container outside to a larger black bin (left). This bin rests on top of rollers that allow us to spin the container about once a week. The spinning speeds the decomposition process because it aerates the mixture and allows it to become more homogenous. These outdoor bins can be purchased at almost any home improvement store.
Once that bin gets full, we roll it down to our garden to mix it with some woody debris and then use it in our garden beds. The soil that we make from our compost is all natural, nutrient rich and homemade! 4
The Perfect Plant
Plants are a great way to spruce up any space, but sometimes it can be hard to find the plant that is just right. No matter how much sunshine or how bad you are at remembering to water something there is a great selection of plants that make any room a little more lively.
Plants for Any Light
This extremely hardy plant prefers full sun, but it can tolerate a variety of shaded areas. Jade can go a few weeks without water, be on the brink of death, and still manage to live.
Mint is a very easy plant to grow and can serve more than just a decorative purpose. You can chew or crush the leaves to relieve stomach aches or add a little flavoring to your water.
Aloe Vera Just like mint, aloe vera has unusual helpful properties. The gel inside the succulent leaves can be used to relieve pain and help cure cuts.
This plant is easy to care for and may just bring you a little extra luck (hence the nickname). Lucky Bamboo does well in low light and doesnâ€™t even need soil to grow, just place the plant in water and change it every 2-3 weeks.
Not only is it fun to watch them grow, but some potted plants can be more than just decoration. 5
! Potting your plant
3. Get Creative
Now that you have the perfect plant picked out for your space it’s time to plant it. All you have to do is follow these easy steps and your new companion will be ready to go!
1. Pick a Pot If you already have a pot that you would like to fill with a plant, look for a plant that will comfortably fit the size of the pot with a little room to grow. Most small plants will do fine in a typical 4” ceramic pot that can be purchased at almost any home improvement or general retail store.
You can get a little extra creative with the new addition to your space by personalizing your ceramic pot. This step is optional, but if you choose to decorate your pot, this is what you’ll need:
A variety of acrylic paints
Set up your space with newspaper to prevent damaging spills. Paint several coats if desirable. Let the paint completely dry then paint or spray a layer of mod podge over your designs to prevent chipped paint. Make sure that you pick a pot with drainage holes in the bottom. This prevents waterlogged roots.
2. The Dirt Ordinary soil that you would find in your yard would be too heavy and could potentially introduce disease. Always use products labeled “potting soil” or a homemade equivalent. Fill the pot with soil leaving 1 to 2 inches below the lip of the pot. If you have a few stones available, you can put a small layer of gravel at the bottom of your pot. The stones have the potential to increase drainage, but are not required.
4. Maintenance After the initial planting, give your plant a good drink. Water your plant whenever the soil is dry an inch or so below the top layer of dirt, but not too frequently. If you notice your plant is growing too large for your pot then make sure to purchase a new pot at the appropriate size.
Pictures a courtesy of Pixabay 6
The Tomato Hornworm
ly less terrible than we imagined. The tomato hornworm has a unique and sacrificial relationship with the braconid wasp. The stinger of the female wasp also functions as the oviposiA couple weeks ago, a colleague was helping me pull some tor. This is how the wasp is able to lay eggs. In order to do so, overgrown weeds at the Ecohouse Community Garden. Earlithe wasp must first find an unsuspecting tomato (or tobacco) er that morning I happened to find this large caterpillar relaxhornworm. Using the ovipositor she will inject her eggs into ing on a nearby leaf. Iâ€™ve always understood the importance the caterpillar. The wasp of insects and arachnids in our ecosystems, but Iâ€™ve never larvae feed on the organs been thrilled to get up close and personal. For some reason of the hornworm. this has never been the case with lepidopterans (butterflies, skippers and moths). For the most part, caterpillars tend to When the time is right, represent a certain innocence. They do not often take on the small white cocoons role of garden predator. At best, they may be a menace to emerge from inside the the leaves of your favorite plants, your healthy tomatoes-and hornworm in these white some especially love the taste of dill and parsley! There are, cocoons. by the time the of course, several exceptions to this- the South American Silk wasps emerge it will be far Moth, the Saddleback, and the Hickory Tussock caterpillars too late for the hornworm are a few on a long list of threatening species. to survive. It dies, so the wasp can begin new life On this particular August day and your tomato plants can we were greeted by the tomato remain unscathed. hornworm! HIs delicate little green body clung to the leaf for We often speak about gardear life. Although I was sure dens being the epitome of he and his friends were responlife. Living plants grow from sible for some of the damage seeds and sustain humans done to the garden I was with food and beauty. We awestruck by his design. I must nurture the soil and readmit that upon first glance I move the weeds- even the could not identify the little guy; old crops are broken down into a living compost- continuing however, an odd physical charthe cycle. Yes, our gardens are teaming with life, but we acteristic piqued my curiosity: must respect the balance of nature- even when it seems a two small white tags emerging tad harsh. from his body. A mere two hours later, a curious thing happened: the amount of white had exploded upon the hornworm! He was covered in little white shells and, if you looked very carefully, you could see them moving on his body. Allowing our imaginations to get the better of us my colleague and I jumped to the conclusion of Cordyceps! Popularized by a recent video game, The Last of Us- in which the fungus attacked humans, this entomopathogenic fungus strikes from the inside- replacing the insectâ€™s tissue and eventually allows fruiting branches of the fungi to emerge in a variety of shapes and colors.
Allowing your garden to remain in a natural state will undoubtedly invite unwanted visitors, but it also creates an ecosystem in which the pest are kept in check by naturally occurring biological processes. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/ beneficial-04_braconid_wasp_on_hornworm.htm
A quick Google search brought us back to some form of reality, but the truth of what we were witnessing was only slight7
organic matter which protects the soil from erosion. Forests with established colonies of earthworms lose this thick layer of organic matter and leave vulnerable , bare soil and exposed roots. Contrary to popular belief, earthworms actually decrease the amount of fertile humus from the forest floor.
From a young age, we are conditioned to believe earthworms are our allies in the garden! The case is often made that their ability to aerate the soil, increasing water flow to the roots and improving soil quality, is extremely beneficial. However, studies have shown that earthworms may show otherwise. A recent interview with Dr. Peter Groffman on Talk of the Nation NPR News detailed the dangers of exotic earthworms in our northern forests and piqued my interest.
Dr. Groffman goes on to explain that earthworm activity ultimately releases stored carbon into the atmosphere more rapidly. Native species do exist in North America, but they have become outnumbered by larger and more aggressive exotic species. As global climate change continues to shift climate patterns and alter habitat range for flora and fauna, colonization of invasive earthworm populations in our northern forests are rapidly accelerating as result.
What Can You Do? Dr. Groffman tells us that, while aeration can have its Removal of an established invasive species is incredibly benefits, chances are your vegetable garden is not in difficult. Today you can start by actively preventing the desperate need for soil aeration. Extensive earthworm further spread of earthworms. If using worms (i.e. comactivity can increase the amount of water that leaches posting or fishing) be mindful of your actions. Keep your quickly into groundwater; affecting overall soil quality. compost contained and do not leave leftover bait in nature. Many pesticides will kill earthworms; however, Earthworms are an exotic, invasive species in the Midpesticide use will taint the soil and kill beneficial nonwest. Soil scientists understand that the glaciers cover- target insects, lepidoptera and arachnids. Most iming vast amounts of North American soils thousands of portantly, share this information your family and years ago would have eliminated any native earthworms friends! in the area. Today, the exotic earthworms of Europe and http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php? Asia are greatly altering the soil chemistry of the forest storyId=9105956 Hornworm photos by Markie Miller, earthworm graphic by Pixabay floor. Traditionally, the forest floor has a lush layer of
Soil Saving Tips
1. Eat organic foods and purchase foods from producers you can trust. The term “organic” means raising or growing food without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which can harm the quality of the soil. However, not all food products that say “organic” really are, so research some brands that go above and beyond the USDA requirements or shop at the Athens farmers market and ask the farmers themselves how they raise their crops. 2. Eat from local farmers who keep it small. When crops are mass produced, only one crop is grown over a large area, reducing the livelihood of insects, soil microorganisms, and other entities. 3. Use compost as a fertilizer. It is great for creating nutrient-rich soil and it also reduces landfill waste. 4. Don’t have the space to compost but you drink a lot of coffee? Just use coffee grounds as fertilizer.
5. Recycle anything and everything you can. Not only does this reduce landfill waste, but keeping toxins such as plastic and harmful chemicals from old technology out of the landfill lessens the amount of chemicals that end up in our soil and water supply. 8
Office of Sustainability
Sustainability Bulletin Board Challenge Calling All RAs! The Office of Sustainability is proud to announce the first ever Sustainability Bulletin Board Contest! To enter, simply email email@example.com with the subject line: “RA Sustainability Contest”. In the email please include your name, the location of the board (building and floor), and a picture of your creation. A winning board will: · Be your original work · Grab attention · Use sustainable materials · Contain quality information about a “sustainable” topic of your choosing (i.e. composting, recycling, personal sustainability; open for interpretation) The boards will be judged by the Ohio University EcoReps and the winner will receive a bulletin board supply kit for next semester. Submissions are due by
Tuesday, November 5 at 5pm
Interested in contributing to Routes? We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help write, design and photograph for the next publication of Routes. Tap into your creative abilities and get involved with the Office of Sustainability by contacting editor Tess Phinney at firstname.lastname@example.org If your area of interest lies elsewhere, there are a variety of different volunteer and internship positions available to students. Develop valuable skills for your future career and help the Office of Sustainability achieve its mission. To learn more, email email@example.com with a description of your area(s) of interest. 9
Do you have a passion for preserving the environment? Want to make a positive impact in your campus, community, and world? Here’s your chance to make a difference: Sustainable OU Leaders is a group on campus comprised of faculty, staff and students who are working to implement the university’s Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan. We are looking for passionate individuals to help us take action and spread sustainability.
Benefits of Participation:
Improve skills in leadership, communication, networking, and policy development Potential for regional and national marketing of efforts Gain professional development experience in sustainability and how it applies to a variety of disciplines Contribute to leading efforts in furthering sustainability at Ohio University
SOUL Meetings are held on Wednesdays from 3:30-5pm in Baker room 236 1st Wednesday of the Month: Built Environments 2nd Wednesday of the Month: Outreach and Education 3rd Wednesday of the Month: Waste Reduction 4th Wednesday of the Month: Energy Efficiency 10
2013 Pawpaw Festival
Megan Graver and Tess Phinney
The 15th annual Pawpaw Festival took place September 13, 14, and 15 on the shores of Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio. Visitors poured in from near and far to experience the pawpaw fruit, which was available in many different forms at the festival. Dishes from local vendors creatively used the fruit in a variety of ways. I had a hard time passing up the pawpaw curry puff, pawpaw pulled pork and pawpaw cookies once I had enjoyed my habanero pawpaw chicken burrito. Many Ohioans not native to the Athens area may be wondering what the fuss is all about over the pawpaw. Before attending the festival, I had never tasted a pawpaw and many visitors from Ohio University have never even heard of the fruit that is so famous in the Athens area. The taste of a pawpaw is difficult to describe, with my perception being a mix between a mango and a banana with a hint of melon. The skin of the fruit is green while the insides are a light yellow hue. Some people
Vendors had a variety of pawpaw infused treats including pawpaw chips and salsa (above). And kids of all ages were eager to take pictures with the life-size pawpaw on display (left).
compare the consistency of the insides to a custard or mushy banana. According to NPR, the pawpaw fruit made quite an impact on some well-known historical figures. Thomas Jefferson was known to enjoy pawpaws and had pawpaw seeds shipped to friends while he was minister to France in 1786. In addition, there is mention of pawpaws in the journal of Lewis and Clark. NPR even did a special on the unique topical-like fruit back in 2011. In addition to impressing historical visionaries, the pawpaw also sparked the interest of Ohio University professors. One of many research projects at the university focuses on studying the nutrient content of the pawpaw. Not only is the fruit unique and tasty, educationally interesting, but according to the USDA, the fruit is high in amino acids. Raw pawpaws were available to purchase at the festival, although beware that their shelf life is very short and they donâ€™t travel well. For those who wanted fresh pawpaws throughout the season, pawpaw trees were available for purchase from local nurseries. 11
Beyond the pawpaw edibles, the annual festival did not disappoint in the entertainment category. A talented lineup of local bluegrass bands were constantly on stage entertaining the crowd. Saturday alone boasted a total of 17 individual and group performers. The schedule also included events for every member of the family. Children events occurred all day with workshops on hula hooping, yoga, and even a Youth Pawpaw Gauntlet Contest. The photo below shows one of the many performers singing on one of the two stages at the event, both of which were occupied all day.
Adults were able to enjoy presentations from professional gardeners to master pawpaw growers. A wide selection of pawpaw beer was also available for the visitors over 21. A number of sustainable features at the festival were available, as well. Local community members were encouraged to take the bus, provided by Hocking College, to the festival to reduce the carbon footprint of more cars on the road. This was also a preferable
option due to the large attendance this year. Lake Snowden had to open several overflow parking lots to accommodate visitors traveling from all across the region. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/09/29/140894570/thepawpaw-foraging-for-americas-forgotten-fruit http://plants.usda.gov/pawpaw
Photos by Tess Phinney 12
Trash Talk: Landfills Think about everything you do in a given day. Now think about how many seemingly worthless items you toss into a trashcan and usually forget about. Leftover food, beer bottles, coffee cups from Front Room, the wrapper from your granola bar, paper towels in the bathroom. According to the United States EPA , Americans generate 1,500 pounds of trash a year per person, 30 percent of which is from product packaging. Woah. With a population of 400,000,000, it doesn’t take a mathematician to deduce our nation is generating a lot of trash. Now that you are thinking about how much trash you produce, take a minute to consider where it goes.
48,395 tons of waste from the county, 27,498 tons from other Ohio districts, and over 86,482 tons of waste from out of state. This landfill is one of 39 licensed Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Facilities in Ohio serving over 11.5 million Ohio residents, but also industrial waste generators from other states. Statewide, 23,535,913 tons of waste was landfilled in 2011 (EPA). At 7.5 tons each, this is enough garbage to equal the weight of approximately 3,138,122 African Elephants.
At current waste disposal rates, Ohio Landfills have an average of 37.7 years left of publically available use, and our local landfill is expected to have 9-10 years until the current working site is full. Expanding the landfill will require the removal of surrounding forests; however, this move would also increase capacity and extend operations to 2072. When landfills are full they are capped and usually ‘reclaimed’, another word for planting grass and wildflowers. Environmental and safety regulations requiring trash to be covered daily combined with reclamation efforts feed into society’s illusion of disappearing trash. Instead of rock and minerals, the landfill’s hills of dirt and reclaimed ‘prairies’ are merely artificial landscapes covering giant piles of solid waste. Excessively large amounts of landfilled waste not only result in environmental concerns like pollution; but also reflect lost or unAthens Hocking Landfill open site. Photo Credit: Margaret Hutzel, Voinovich School of Leadership captured resources, potential revenue, local jobs, and and Public Affairs opportunities for growth. These statistics and A common mentality in American society is to predictions should make us question the sustainability disconnect from our trash when it leaves our hands and of current waste disposal methods and paradigms. ‘disappears’. The unfortunate reality of waste There is good news; this problem is solvable. There are generation and disposal; however, is that there is no ways to extend the life spans of America’s landfills, ‘away’. For example, Ohio University’s landfilled trash decrease waste, increase economic revenue, and build is sent to the Athens Hocking Reclamation Center and a cleaner, healthier tomorrow. One part of this Landfill located right off Route 33. According to Ohio necessary shift is transitioning to a zero waste economy University’s Sustainability Report, the campus alone locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. landfilled 3,214 tons of solid waste in 2011 (1 ton= 2,000 pounds). In 2011, Athens Hocking accepted
According to the Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative, “In a zero waste economy, product development conserves natural resources, product design leads to reuse, repair, recycling or composting, and all discards become assets that benefit the people, the planet and the local economy. Reaching zero waste–commonly defined as achieving a 90% waste diversion rate–is a long-term goal that will require collaboration amongst all parties: consumers, businesses, government, non-profit organizations and institutions.” Read the next issue of Routes for more details about transitioning to a zero waste economy, municipal and
corporate leaders in the field, and how all of this trash talk applies to you and Athens. Can’t wait that long to learn more? Check out these links: http://www.ilsr.org/initiatives/zero-waste-and-economicdevelopment/ http://www.me.mtu.edu/~jwsuther/ Publications/50_Kumar_ASME_05.pdf http://www.athenshockingrecycle.org/downloads/Precycle% 20facts.pdf
Sources: http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw07-rpt.pdf http://www.athenshockingrecycle.org/downloads/Solid%20Waste% 20Plan%20Approved.pdf http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/39000.html http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/elephant http://ruralaction.org/programs/zerowaste/zero-waste-inititativeresources/#zw economy
Who is AOZWI? The Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative (AOZWI) collaborates with communities to build local wealth and environmental health by increasing waste diversion and supporting the development of a zero waste economy. This approach to resource management that conserves, repurposes, and recycles what otherwise would be buried or burnt, into valuable assets that contribute to environmental, economic and social well-being. AOZWI uses a value chain approach, a systematic way of connecting players in the recycling supply chain to move the sector forward together. AOZWI is coordinated by Rural Action in partnership with the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University, and is funded by the Sugar Bush Foundation.
What are they doing?
Increasing rural access to recycling and education Working to improve recycling infrastructure Supporting recycling businesses Organizing and giving voice to community members
Become part of the action: Visit http://ruralaction.org/get-involved/volunteer/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org to explore unique internships based on your major and areas of expertise. AOZWI also offers volunteer opportunities including dump site clean-ups and assisting with zero waste events like the Nelsonville Music Festival and Pawpaw Festival! Professors, peer leaders, and student organizations can also request more engagement and learning opportunities for classes and small groups. AOZWI Contact Information: Website: www.ruralaction.org/zerowaste Email: email@example.com Phone: 740-677-4047 14
For Rent: OHIO Ecohouse
8133 Dairy Lane, Athens: This rustic, fully-furnished 3-bedroom house situated on The Ridges is the ideal setting for any undergraduate or graduate student interested in learning about sustainable living. Residents of the house enroll in a one-credit Ecohouse Seminar each semester to enhance the experience and support students in their interest with sustainable projects. Residents are encouraged to participate in professional and personal development activities during their time in the house. Residents develop strong leadership & communication skills, explore professional development opportunities, become better prepared for a job search and gain valuable personal and professional skills.
House Features: No • Solar Panels • Solar Thermal ap w ac c pli • Large yard cat epti ng 20 i • Fire pit 14 ons -20 for • Storage shed 1 5! • Fully-furnished • Front porch • Access to hiking trails • Compost bin and vermi-composter • Rain barrel and grey water systems • Free Community Garden plot for each resident • Large kitchen (appliances and utensils provided!)
Easy Online Application: www.ohio.edu/ecohouse
$415/mo* - utilities included *subject to change prior to signing of lease 15
In today’s world, technology is all around us. While technology is a beautiful thing, the waste it can produce is horrifying. Because technology changes so quickly, we often find ourselves with outdated electronics. Most people don’t even think twice about throwing an old phone charger in the trash or putting unwanted TVs out on the curb for trash pickup. Unfortunately, this type of behavior has negative effects on our planet. The EPA has recognized discarded electronic items as the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America. Worldwide, the 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste disposed of yearly leak chemicals such as lead to arsenic into the local soil, air, and water while they waste away in landfills. Even upon incineration, there are releases of toxic fumes that have become such a problem both the FDA and the scrap industry have agreed that special caution should be taken when disposing of these materials. By conserving or taking care to properly dispose of our electrical equipment, we can help to correct the problems that too much e-waste currently poses to us. I know what you’re thinking: I can’t just keep these aged gadgets in my house forever. Eventually they’ll take over, seeping out of closets and taking up residence in the fridge. Well, here’s the answer: recycle them! Recycling goes beyond just your pop cans and cereal boxes. In fact, there are recycling-old-technology centers all over the country that harvest all the good things technology possesses, like precious metals. In some cases, it only takes the materials from two old phones to make a brand new one! So next time you think about throwing anything away, think of the impact it will have and the negative trail it will leave behind.
Here are some places on and near campus that you can take old electronics:
Cell phones, CDs, DVDs, ink jet cartridges: E-waste collection cabinets in Baker, dining hall entrances and computer labs
Cell phones: Radioshack, 967 E State St
Cell phone accessories, mp3 players, digital cameras: Staples, 973 E State St
Big and small appliances, scrap metal: Cullision Scrap Metal, 10841 Salem Rd
Anything else: Athens-Hocking Recycling Drop-Off – “ReUse Industries”, 74815 U.S. 50, Albany They accept a multitude of things; check out this website for more information.
Eco Reps is a student organization devoted to educating students about ways to “go green.” They put on residence hall programs, help the Office of Sustainability with RecycleMania and Energy Challenge, and participate in various Earth Month events.
To Learn More, Contact: Liz Emley - President firstname.lastname@example.org 16
Local Attractions Chesterhill Produce Auction Most people take the easy route when it comes to buying produce and flock to the nearest and most convenient grocery store. Most of the time, consumers do not know where the foods they are purchasing come from. Many consumers do not know the benefits to buying locally and understanding where their foods are produced. Locally grown food tastes and looks better. The crops are picked at their peak, making for savory products that are nothing in comparison to their supermarket counterparts.
Leigh Wagner and Hallie Zarbakhsh
Most of the foods are sold in bulk so it is great to go in on something with a friend. They have a range of seasonal fruits and vegetables while also offering various meat options such as chicken, turkey, and beef. These fruits and vegetables are rich, colorful, and cannot compare in taste to any supermarket produce. The produce auction is an opportunity that canâ€™t be found in many other places. It gives buyers the opportunity to directly communicate with the person who has produced the foods that they are purchasing. If any students have an interest in attending, the produce auction takes place every Monday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and it is located at 8380 Wagoner Road, between Route 555 and Route 377, southwest of Chesterhill, Ohio.
Many do not know that Athens is surrounded by a thriving agricultural area. Each week, Farmers from these surrounding area come together to sell their crops at a Produce Auction in Chesterhill, Ohio. The concept of a produce auction is exactly how it sounds. It is an auction. For produce. Buyers and sellers are issued numbers, a clerk records the transactions, customers pay at the end of the auction, and growers are given weekly checks for what they sell. The auction is fast paced and exciting. People from all different backgrounds come together and share a sense of community here.
(Above) When goods are in season and available at the auction throughout the year. A full list is available here 17
No car, no sweat. Check at the Athens Transit schedule.
It's that time of year again. School is back in session, fiery leaves tumble around your feet, and hot apple cider is served for smoky bonfire fun. But I think we all know that Fall would not be fall without that the vibrant evergreen, the Christmas tree. Oops, wrong season (check back later for that one). Everyone knows that the pumpkin is THE symbol of fall, and no porch display, Halloween night or Thanksgiving table is complete without a little help from this Fall favorite. So, since I've already stated the obvious, how do you enjoy Fall to the fullest? Have no fear (save that for Halloween), because you're about to learn how to And if you simply can't get your hands on a REAL pumpmake this the pumpkin-iest Autumn you've ever had. kin, you can get artsy with some paint and a burnt-out light bulb. Simply paint the screw green, color the bulb Step one, get a pumpkin. But where? On a college cam- orange, and draw a spooky face with a sharpie. Hang it pus, partially-hydrogenated-pumpkin-pie is probably by your window with a piece of string, and you've got the closest you are going to get to a big ol' pumpkin. yourself a recycled pumpkin! Still, that doesn't mean you can't make your Fall fancies come true. For local pumpkins and local fun, check out As far as carving goes, maybe you want to ditch the old the Athens County Farmers Market on State Street in zigzag smile and put on a fresher face. Silhouettes, Athens. Along with all the other goodies they've got, painting, add-ons, stacking, etc. can all make your jack – there are enough vendors to make sure you have more o’ - the - lantern the talk – o’ - the town. Google jack-opumpkin pies, pumpkin breads, pumpkin rolls, and lantern ideas if you need a little inspiration. A simple pumpkin pumpkins than you know what to do with. internet search for pumpkin stencils will put Halloween mastery at the click of a button. Now get carving! So grab a friend and head down to the Farmers market to support local farmers and sustainable consumption. I think it’s unanimous that pumpkins are one of the best Oh, and to pick the biggest, baddest pumpkin for the parts of Fall. What has not been decided, however, is biggest, baddest jack - o' - lantern. Can't make it down what you are going to do with them this season. Pick there? No problem! You can hit up the Mini Farmers your pumpkin poison, Bobcats! Then, post a photo of Market on campus October 11 or 25 (noon, Howard your creation on our facebook page! Hall Site) to fill those pumpkin carvings...er, cravings. facebook.com/SustainableOU
White’s Mill is known for providing Athens county with lawn and garden commodities, local art, animal care products, jewelry and much more! White’s Mill is over 200 years old, and has something to offer whenever you stop by. As the weather is starting to become cooler, you should check out the variety of pumpkins White’s Mill has to offer! Perfect for carving, making pumpkin seeds, or if you check out some of my pumpkin recipes, you could even use it for some pumpkin treats! Check out White’s Mill on 2 White’s Mill Drive in Athens, Monday through Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to snag a pumpkin today! 18
Cold Weather Gardening It was a muggy, rainy day in September, but 29 Ohio University faculty, staff and students huddled onto the Ecohouse porch to learn about cold weather gardening and preparing beds for the winter. The workshop, led by Community Food Initiatives Board Member Kira Slepchenko, taught participants about the types of plants that thrive in fall soils. Kira shared her own preferred techniques for working in her garden and offered a friendly, easy-going approach to gardening. She taught participants that gardening in the Fall is ideal for a number of plants and is easier for gardeners weary of hot temperatures and pesky bugs.
Annie Laurie Cadmus
Preparing Gardens for Winter: If you wish to prepare your soils for a successful spring, here are some tips on what you can do this fall: Harvest your existing garden before the first freeze. You may try to save some plants by covering them with bed sheets for the first few freezes. Or, simply harvest everything. Tomatoes can be placed indoors to ripen. If you have harvested a large quantity of not-quite-ripe produce, check the following page for the “Lazy Gardener’s Soup” recipe...ideal for premature harvesting. Transplant herbs or other plants that may be able to survive as potted plants indoors. Remove all remaining plants from the roots (perennials excluded) No need to till or place large amounts of compost down! Just let your soil be for now. Finally, lay heavier organic materials over your soil.
Fall Gardening: Kira provided a helpful list of preferred fall crops that are ideal to plant July-October (it may be past the prime time for some of them): Greens: Lettuce, kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, Asian greens, mustard, endive Herbs: Parsley, dill, cilantro Root Vegetables: Carrots, radishes, beets, rutabaga, turnip Peas and Beans: Snow peas, sweet peas, short season beans Fast Maturing Crops: Summer squash, green onions Garlic: Garlic Bulbils (seeds) can be planted in late summer Garlic Cloves should be planted in late October/early November Transplants (not from seed): Broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage
Organic Mulch for Sale at Ohio University OHIO employees and students are now invited to purchase its Class 4 Compost (mulch/woodchips created from university landscape waste) for their personal gardens. How to do it: 1.) Simply stop in at Bobcat Essentials in Baker University Center and tell them how much you¹d like to purchase. 2.) You¹ll pay for the mulch there and receive a receipt that you can bring up to the Compost Facility to pick up your loot. 3.) It’s easy to find: If using GoogleMaps or a GPS, the following address can be utilized to find the Compost Facility: 7876 Blackburn Road, Athens, OH.
Gardening Quick Tip
The compost is sold in 5 gallon units or by the tuckload full. You’ll need to bring your own vessel for the mulch, so plan accordingly. We recommend placing a tarp down on your truckbed if you’ll be buying in bulk.
The depth you plant a seed or bulb should be directly proportional to its size. A tiny seed needs only a sprinkling of soil on top whereas a clove of garlic can be buried further into the soil.
If all goes well with this part of the program, it is anticipated that the university will also begin selling its Class II Compost (a nutrient rich soil amendment) in the spring...Just in time for your spring garden! 19
Suggested Resources: A diverse set of resources are available to the novice and advanced gardener. So many resources, in fact, that it can be difficult determining which ones to utilize. Community Food Initiatives understands that it can be confusing, so they graciously provide a variety of helpful workshops throughout the year aimed at making Athens residents better prepared to tackle a home garden. For more information about upcoming workshops and resources provided by Community Food Initiatives, navigate to their website at www.communityfoodinitiatives.org.
”The workshop was great! We received useful information about fall gardening and were even given seeds to get us started. Also, I met a lot of different community members who were also enthusiastic about gardening. It was great to interact with them.” - Mykhaylo Zakryzhevskyy OPIE, Department of Linguistics
Kira’s Favorite Gardening Resources: In addition to workshops, a variety of gardener resources were shared during the session held at OHIO in September. Southeast Ohio Seed Inventory: . This can be purchased in a number of local stores or online. Athens Farmers Market has seeds and transplants available. Stop by and speak to a Master Gardener! OhioHeirloomSeeds.com: A family-owned business offering heirloom seeds at affordable prices. Seedsavers.org: Heirloom seeds (order a catalog online) Rareseeds.com: Heirloom seeds (their beautiful catalog also contains recipes!) Thanks again to Kira Slepchenko, Jess Chadwell and Mary Nally from Community Food Initiatives for helping us offer this workshop to Ohio University students, faculty and staff at no cost to them! We hope you’ll join us for our next workshop.
Office of Sustainability at Ohio University will continue to sponsor Community Food Initiatives workshops on campus at convenient times for university employees. If you have an idea for a workshop that you’d like to see sponsored under this initiative, please email us your suggestion at email@example.com.
Gardening Quick Tip Don’t leave bare soil open to the elements! Once you plant your seeds or seedlings or prepare your soils for winter, be sure to cover your soil with a hearty organic material such as mulch. (Check out the information to the left about purchasing mulch at Ohio University)
An Ode to Kale Encouraging adventurous summer dinner explorations, you’re a trendy hipster to upscale foodies. (I’ll still love you post-trend) 20
Sustainability and Climate Report Annual Sustainability and Climate Action Report Published Thanks to the hard work of a variety of campus constituents, the Fiscal Year 2013 Sustainability and Climate Action Report is now available for public viewing online. Energy Performance Contracting, comprehensive student surveying, institution-wide academic integration and regional campus triumphs are just a small sampling of the extraordinary sustainability initiatives that have taken place at Ohio University in the past year.
called Sustainable Ohio University Leaders (SOUL) meets to discuss progress of specific benchmarks, identify current or potential contributors to next steps and troubleshoot problem areas. “It’s a unique structure for a group, I think, because it’s open to students, faculty and staff on campus so we’re really trying to invite a diversity of individuals to participate,” said Katie Lasco of SOUL. Lasco, a junior at OHIO, serves as the Sustainability Implementation Manager and oversees the constant development of SOUL as the implementation and reporting arm of the Sustainability and Climate Action Plans. SOUL offers a little something for everyone in its division of labor since “..each of the four sub-groups is responsible for a certain set of benchmarks within the Sustainability Plan” explains Lasco. All members of the campus community are invited to attend SOUL meetings, which occur each Wednesday during the academic year from 3:30pm-5pm in Baker University Center Room 236. Another effort on campus that has advanced the presence of sustainability on campus is that of the Common Experience Project on Sustainability, a university-sponsored program aimed at increasing sustainability and ecological literacy of students, faculty and staff through curricular and co-curricular programming. A variety of CEPS-related efforts are highlighted in the report. The most significant driver of greenhouse gas emission reductions outlined in the report is the work being accomplished by Facilities in their work to transition away from coal while simultaneously investing in a $28 million Energy Performance Contract which is expected to save upwards of $38 million in energy savings over the life of the upgrades.
“The Sustainability and Climate Action Report is a snapshot of the university’s efforts toward implementation of the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan over the course of the past fiscal year,” explained Annie Laurie Cadmus, Director of Sustainability. “There is so much happening in terms of sustainability right now that we couldn’t possibly include everything in this report…which is a really exciting problem to have!” Students, faculty and staff work year-round to aid in the implementation of the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan (both of which can be found online). Weekly, a group
The report was made available electronically on October 1, 2013, one month ahead of the Office of Sustainability’s original target date for publication, and will be included as a reporting item to the Board of Trustees this fall. “We use an online platform for our publication of this report to intentionally make printing cumbersome. We want our readers to think critically about their real and perceived needs for having a hard copy of this document,” said Cadmus. If anyone decides that a hard copy of the document is necessary, they can easily obtain a PDF by emailing such requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Tomato Soup
Annie Laurie Cadmus
With Ohio’s first frost fast-approaching, many of us are worried about our not-quite-ripe tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables. While I deeply value and appreciate all the dirt has to offer us in regards to nourishment, I am definitely not organized enough to remember to cover my precious garden at night and uncover it in the mornings until they have adequately ripened. So, each year, during the first week of October, I march out to my garden and harvest anything I can (regardless of whether or not it looks ready) and prepare this hearty soup… The Lazy Gardener’s Green Tomato Soup (or Tomato Paste):
Wash all produce you have harvested.
Roughly chop everything (approximately 2 inch cubes).
Toss hearty vegetables (exclude any herbs, greens and garlic at this point) in just enough olive oil to lightly cover everything.
Sprinkle a scant amount of salt and crushed red pepper over vegetables.
Place on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees for 60-90 minutes, or until golden brown.
Using an immersion blender or upright blender, carefully blend everything until smooth. You may need to add water or vegetable broth if the mixture is too thick. Add herbs, greens and garlic at this time. *If making Tomato Paste: Leave the mixture as is and cook down (in a sauce pan) until thick, season to taste and divide evenly in ice cube trays. Freeze overnight and then pop the cubes out of the trays and store in the freezer in a freezer bag until needed. These tomato paste cubes will keep in the freezer for at least 6 months.
*If making Soup: While still in the blender, add vegetable broth, cream and/or cheese until you reach your desired consistency for a hearty soup. Place the mixture in a sauce pan and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Continue to add vegetable broth, cream, cheese or seasonings to taste. (I like to add cumin, sriracha, sundried tomatoes and black beans...it creates a lighter version of traditional vegetarian chili).
Expressions An interpretation of ‘dirt’ by Tess Phinney and Bradford Grant
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